SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Following its 2014-15 Commonwealth Coast Conference Championship campaign, the Endicott men's basketball team was awarded the top spot in this year's CCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gulls earned seven of the 10 first place votes in the poll conducted among the league's men's basketball coaches and registered 95 total points.
The defending champions earned last year's title in a 90-60 victory over No. 4-seed Wentworth. The Gulls matched up against Stockton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but fell 81-61 to the No. 17-ranked Ospreys.
The remaining first place votes were split between Nichols, which garnered two, and Eastern Nazarene with one. The two teams were separated by just one point in the poll as the Bison claimed 87 points to the Lions 86.
Spots four through eight were separated by just eight points with CCC runner-up Wentworth leading the way with 50 points. Roger Williams (49), University of New England (48), Gordon (44), and Salve Regina (42) fell close behind.
Western New England and Curry wrapped up the poll with 37 and 12 points respectively.
Returning 10 players from last year's squad that finished 14-14 and made its first appearance in the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game since 2011, the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball team looks to be in the hunt for its first conference championship since 2007. Senior Ian Therriault (Auburn, Maine) is coming off of a junior season that saw him average 4.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Sophomore Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) returns after an impressive rookie campaign that saw him average 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Classmates Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) (4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) (6.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and senior Kyle Romich as well as junior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) also return for the Leopards and will help provide depth for third-year head coach Arlen Galloway.
The CCC men's basketball teams will kick off their quest for the 2015-16 conference title this weekend with the start of the regular season. The conference slate is scheduled to start on Dec. 2 with the top eight teams in the regular-season conference standings qualifying for the CCC Tournament. The tournament gets underway Tuesday, Feb. 23 with quarterfinal action and culminates on Saturday, Feb. 27 with the CCC Championship game.
2015-16 CCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Team||Points (First Place Votes)|
|3.||Eastern Nazarene||86 (1)|
|6.||University of New England||48|
|9.||Western New England||37|